I don’t want my younger years to be defined by my drinking habits. Experts I spoke to warned against the danger of binge drinking. It would be a mistake to abstain during the week just to “save up” and drink heavily over the weekend. Drinking regularly will lead to an increase in tolerance to the short-term effects of alcohol and could lead to alcohol dependence. So it’s important to take a break from alcohol so you don’t become alcohol dependent. It’s not all sunshine and roses when we stop drinking – we can also expect moments where we are triggered to drink and have strong cravings.
Many of the participants said they had more energy, which fits with the experience of listener Sarah Black Sadler. “The biggest thing that I noticed is that I don’t need alcohol to have a good time with my friends.” The fact is that overdoing it, or binge drinking (which the CDC defines as having four or more drinks within a couple of hours) can wreak havoc on your body.
Why do your prescription drugs cost so much?
No wonder you feel less than stellar on Wednesday after a few glasses of wine on Tuesday. If you decide to return to drinking after January is over, stay within the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020–2025, which provide advice on what to eat and drink to meet nutrient needs, promote health, and prevent disease. The guidelines recommend that adults who choose to drink limit alcohol intake to 1 drink or less for women and 2 drinks or less for men—on any single day, not on average. Research shows that even small amounts of alcohol can carry health risks, including for certain cancers and cardiovascular issues.
Bartenders were (and still are) pushing against the boundaries that had previously limited “mocktails” to syrup-laden juices or glorified Shirley Temples, and consumers—sober or not—were getting curious. I knew I wouldn’t be writing the first book on non-alcoholic drinks, but I also knew that my work could capitalize on this newfound acceptance and energy. There has been some research conducted on how abstaining from alcohol detoxifies your liver over time.
And while there is virtually no downside to taking a break from drinking alcohol — or quitting altogether — science is just beginning to study the ways abstinence might be good for you. Generally, I feel more secure and happier without alcohol — largely because I recall that my times with alcohol weren’t always merry, and I feel my health has improved without it. The irony of alcohol is that we often drink to feel relaxed, to tamp down anxiety. But over time, White says, this can lead to escalating levels of anxiety.
As you begin to notice those health benefits, you’ll likely feel more energized and inspired to keep up your progress. Research shows that most people believe that drinking can make them feel better. However, when alcohol makes up part of your typical routine, drinking can become something of an automatic response, especially when you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Build a network of support
“Some conditions might improve right away after the drinking stops—if they’re triggered by alcohol,” Dr. Genebriera says. Another unhealthy habit is consistently drinking alone. Those who do so should ask themselves why they are drinking. To cut down, how to take a break from alcohol they might need to address what’s prompting them to drink. “Identify your reasons for drinking and find alternative ways to achieve those objectives without alcohol,” she says, pointing out you’ve likely already tried a few of them during Dry January.
- “A lot of heavy drinkers often hang out with other heavy drinkers,” Humphreys said.
- Double-strain into a tumbler filled with ice and top with soda water.
- Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.
Assess what you want to change with regards to your drinking before you start again. Write down your goals, for example, drinking only a certain amount, having more water, or avoiding shots. Don’t just stop the habit but replace it with something else. It’s a great opportunity to take up hobbies you may have forgotten you enjoyed in the past or to try new ones.